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Changing health care models drive radiology into center of patient care  

Seamless integration of radiology data and insights will help improve care delivery and reduce costs



corporateblog rob cascella

Earlier this month, thousands of imaging experts and thought leaders descended on Chicago for RSNA 2015 to engage in intriguing discussions around new radiology developments and the evolution of the industry. Of all the issues trending at the conference, the most important to me is the changing role of radiology across health systems and hospitals. There are many driving forces leading to this change, but if there is one thing to take away from this year’s show, it is that radiology is no longer a peripheral department to support diagnosis; it is a central piece of today’s connected health care ecosystem that plays a key role in prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

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The Impact of Value-Based Care

Radiology, along with almost every aspect of health care, has been forced to adapt and evolve as hospital systems focus on becoming more efficient in the face of value-based care. Everyone from patients, payers and regulators are exerting pressure on hospitals to cut costs and provide more cost-effective care. With advanced digital technology in place, radiology will break free from its reputation as a cost-center and be a key component of cost reduction strategies. But that doesn’t mean that the quality of service will diminish. In fact, the same changes that can lead to lower costs can also result in better care for both practitioners and patients.


By far the most compelling trend I heard from customers was the need for a fully integrated, consultative approach to enhance radiology practice management. Radiology is sitting on vast amounts of operational data that is not being used to its full potential. The future of imaging depends on the seamless integration between data and insights across multiple modalities and systems. To provide value-based care, radiologists are asking for customized, data-driven management approaches that combine imaging with services, informatics and analytics to improve care delivery and reduce costs. They can’t afford to work in silos, rather, they want the critical data insights needed to transform care practices to be more efficient, shaping operational performance across the entire healthcare network.

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Forces Driving Radiology Evolution Today

Imaging equipment has long had the reputation of being cumbersome and challenging to operate. As health care dictates greater mobility and access in patient care, it is critical to improve ease of use for radiologists and technologists. By designing equipment, related software and smart algorithms with the radiologist’s daily workflow in mind, we can enable practitioners to operate the equipment more quickly and effectively. When practitioners are able to easily take advantage of new advanced digital technology, exam times are shortened, recalls are reduced and images are more accurate.


Adapting the traditional approach of how imaging works with specialties, such as neurology, cardiology and oncology, is a fundamental piece in the evolving role of radiology. Radiology’s role is no longer just to find the disease, but rather guide the entire treatment process – from diagnosis to surgical planning and treatment assessment. With improved data sharing and telemedicine services, hospital systems are able to collaborate with radiology experts around the world remotely. This enables on-site radiologists to combine the power of state-of-the-art equipment with clinical expertise to offer patients world-class care regardless of location.

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Value-based care requires not only first time right imaging, but the ability to unify data and unlock actionable insights to help influence and improve radiology practice management. With improved early diagnosis, radiologists are able to reduce the need for repeat imaging and callbacks, further improving patient comfort and ultimately realizing the correlation between happy patients and lower cost of care.


Technology has already helped us shift the perception of radiology as a critical piece of the connected health system that enables quick and accurate diagnosis regardless of the disease state. While perception is changing, we all know there is still work to be done. However, if we focus on improving the way radiologists are able to examine patients and allow them to use and share data seamlessly, the sky is the limit. I look forward to next year’s RSNA to see how far we’ve come.

corporateblog rob cascella

Rob Cascella

CEO, Imaging Business Group, Philips


Rob Cascella joined Philips as Executive Vice President and CEO of Imaging in April 2015, and leads Philips’ cluster of global imaging businesses including Diagnostic Imaging (Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Diagnostic X-Ray and Advanced Molecular Imaging), Image Guided Therapy and Ultrasound. He has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry and has served on several boards.

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